The Second Rounder

Historically Cincinnati's best draft selections have come in the second round since the amateur draft began in 1965. This year's selection was invested on Tanner Rahiel. He's gone through a non-traditional prep career while becoming one of the top prospects in Southern California. Most experts agree that the Reds were very fortunate to find him waiting with the 78th overall pick.

How important has Cincinnati's second round picks been to their organization? The best three players the Reds have ever drafted have all been second round selections. Johnny Bench was the organization's second player selected in the very first amateur draft in 1965. Joey Votto was a second rounder in 1983. They also picked Barry Larkin out of high school in the second round in 1982, but they did not get him until investing a first round pick when he came out of the University of Michigan in 1985. They also used the second round to get Chris Sabo in 83 and Adam Dunn in 98. Current shortstop Zach Cozart was a second rounder in 2007. This year's selection is shortstop Tanner Rahier out of Palm Desert (CA) H.S.

Rahier is listed at 6'2"/205# and bats right-handed. He took an unusual path to professional baseball. He opted to forego his high school team and played instead for a traveling squad in a wooden bat league. His father is a professional sports performance specialist who put him on a conditioning program with an intensive workout regimen containing activities outside of the traditional weight room. Whatever he's doing seems to be working just fine because he is at the top of the list of prospects in Southern California.

At the plate Rahier has developed strong hands that he puts to use in a level line-drive swing. He's an aggressive hitter that is very successful at squaring up the ball. His bat speed gives scouts no concerns about his ability to adjust to professional pitching. Right now he projects as having gap power with an ability to go deep when he's able to pull the ball to left field. He has good speed and has been timed at 6.7" running 60 yards.

In the field it had been speculated that he could be moved to third base. His offensive skills project that he should have adequate power for a corner position. His arm strength is sufficient for any position on the field and he can hit the radar over 90 coming off the mound. Should he stick at shortstop his bat could be a real asset for a lineup in a middle infield position.

Rahiel was ranked at no. 34 in Baseball America's prospect rankings. He had the highest ranking of any player still remaining at the onset of the second round and most experts feel the Reds were very fortunate to find him waiting when they used the 78th overall pick. He had previously signed a scholarship to play at the University of San Diego. Obviously the Reds have in mind to start him down another career path as a professional player in their system. MLB has assigned an amount for each pick of the first ten rounds which would offer around $650,000 to the eighteen year-old.

Other News from the Farm:

Syracuse needed only three runs to sweep a doubleheader against visiting Louisville, 2-1 & 1-0. The Bats were held to only six hits in the first game. Pedro Villarreal took the loss despite a strong outing where he held the Chiefs to one run on four hits without a walk in six innings. The right-hander now has a 3.50 ERA for the Bats over six games since his promotion from Pensacola.

Two Syracuse pitchers combined for a one-hitter in the second game when the only run was scored in the seventh, which was the final inning of the DH game. Wirfin Obispo got the start and shut out the Chiefs for five innings. He allowed four walks and did not give up a hit. Travis Webb pitched the two final innings and gave up the game-winner.

Mike Costanzo rejoined the Bats yesterday when he was sent down from the Reds to make room for Kristopher Negron. Negron is expected to get action in the outfield for the Reds while Drew Stubbs is nursing an abdominal strain. Most of the 26 year-old's action has been in the infield as a minor leaguer. He came into the Cincinnati organization from Boston in a 2009 deal for Alex Gonzalez.

Pensacola dropped a home series when the lost the rubber game to Jacksonville 2-1. Ryan LaMarre had three of the Wahoo's six hits and scored their only run. Daniel Corcino took the loss when he allowed two runs on five hits in five innings. He struck out five while walking only one. Chris Manno and Drew Hayes combined for four innings of scoreless relief.

Bakersfield jumped out to a 2-0 lead on a Dominic D'Anna's home run in the second inning en route to a 5-1 win over visiting Visalia. D'Anna and Tucker Barnhart had two hits each for the Blaze. Chad Rogers had another strong outing when he limited the Rawhide to one run on three hits in 7 2/3 innings. His ERA is now at 2.24. Pat Doyle finished the game and picked up his first save.

Billy Hamilton Theft Watch:

Hamilton had one hit and two walks. He made the most of his opportunities and swiped four more bases. He walked in the second and did not have an open base in front of him. He led off the seventh with a single and stole both second and third. He had another two-steal inning after he walked in the eighth. Hamilton now has 67 steals in 56 games.

Dayton took the lead with a four run fourth inning and won over visiting Lake County by a score of 5-2. Joe Terry went 2-3 with a walk and two doubles. He scored the Dragons' first run in the fourth before Sean Buckely's two-run double gave them the lead. Tanner Robles had a quality start and picked up his fourth win. He allowed two runs on three hits in six innings. Michael Dennhardt and Ryan Kemp combined for three scoreless innings of relief and Kemp picked up his third save.

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